What’s on in June 2021? Occupational therapy, brain injury and neurorehabilitation events
We’ve rounded up some of the main events on offer this month for anyone interested in occupational therapy, brain injury and neurorehabilitation – as a service provider or user!
The impact of the covid pandemic tops the talks at Brain Injury Canada’s annual conference from 2- 3 June.
Speakers will be discussing the evolving landscape of treatment and care for brain injury amid the digital health care explosion catalysed by covid. 
Swiss roll call
There’s an opportunity this month to sign up for insights into a UK project with a Swiss global leader which could ‘revolutionise’ return to work plans.
The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between one of the world’s leading reinsurance companies, Swiss Re and The University of Huddersfield is examining ways of reducing work loss due to ill-health and has already been hailed as ‘a market innovation’.
KTP’s findings so far will be the focus of an online ‘Emerging Insights’ conference hosted by the Vocational Rehabilitation Association.
Other research areas being explored include:
- Enabling return to work for key workers recovering from covid-19.
- Does voluntary work lead to paid work?
- Psychological factors affecting return to work decisions after traumatic physical injury.
More info here.
Clap for carers
With covid catapulting carers of all status on to the healthcare frontline, there’s no better time to cheer them on than during the UK’s annual Carers’ Week.
This year, the event, from 7-13 June, aims to ‘Make Caring Visible and Valued’ and drum up support for the ‘Better breaks for unpaid carers’ campaign.
Hundreds of activities have already been organised around the country and everyone is being urged to support the call for ‘better breaks’ funding from the Government. 
Bookings close on Friday 28 May for an online interactive masterclass on 9 June in ‘rediscovering the joy of eating with taste and smell loss’.
The class, organised by the British Association of Brain Injury and Complex Case Management (BABICM), will examine the science behind flavour perception and the importance of sensory elements such as smell, sound and touch.
The event, free to BABICM members, also forms part of its 25th anniversary celebrations. 
Cutting-edge assistive technology, exoskeletons and prosthetics are among the many advancements on the agenda at Cloisters’ third TechCon this month.
Aimed at educating practitioners involved in personal brain injury and clinical negligence cases, the virtual conference on 9 June also offers Q&A opportunities with specialists. 
In this months featured talking heads article we look at how occupational therapists have been using craft activities as tools to facilitate physical, cognitive and social development since the founding of the profession in the early 1900s.
Continence across continents
The World Federation for Incontinence and Pelvic Problems is promising a new logo for the launch of World Continence Week, starting June 17. 
But while we wait, time to check out a UK campaign to stop councils closing public toilets– a cause for despair for the three million-plus people with incontinence problems in the UK.
The Urology Foundation (TUF) campaign also aims to overcome the stigma surrounding incontinence and raise awareness of resources that can help, including TUF’s ‘Need to Pee’ cards for people needing quick access to toilets due to health conditions. 
‘All in the comfort of your own home’ is how the 7th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) is being held this month; virtually, of course, due to covid.
Latest best practices in neurology will be among the online offerings from 19-22 June, and there’s also a chance to win an EAN ‘golden ticket’ for a free trip to next year’s congress. 
‘For every person diagnosed, the impact of the disease will be forever felt by their loved ones.’ International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations
Keep MND in mind
Reflecting the ‘turning point’  marked by the annual June solstice, the 21st of this month also signals a global day of hope among sufferers of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and one of its sub-types, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Both neurological conditions cause progressive degeneration of the nerve cells that control muscles, with life expectancy after symptoms first appear of between two and five years.
Members of the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations will be raising awareness and funds on the day. Look out for the hashtag #ALSMNDWithoutBorders. 
Affecting more than 350,000 people in the UK and millions more worldwide, aphasia, a language and communication disorder, doesn’t just leave people ‘lost for words’. 
It can also affect their ability to understand the written and spoken word, causing ‘extreme frustration’  and, at worst, social exclusion.
In June, support groups from across the globe come together in one, clear voice to highlight this invisible disability in Aphasia Awareness Month, organised in the UK by the Aphasia Alliance. 
New royal arrivals
The Royal College of Occupational Therapists’ (RCOT)flagship event, its annual conference from30 June to 1 July, shifts online for the first time this year.
Also making a 2021 debut are four over-arching conference themes, chosen with members:
- Equality, diversity and inclusion.
- Impact of occupational therapy.
- New ways of working.
- Rehabilitation and recovery.
A prestigious panel of plenary speakers will include Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the Institute of Health Equity, and ‘Science of Happiness’Professor Bruce Hood, Chair of Developmental Psychology in Society at the University of Bristol. 
Here’s what’s on at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) this month to enhance or broaden your occupational therapy skills:
- 8/9 June: Balance rehabilitation - presented by NCORE trainers, Lucy Gwynne and Michelle Kudhail.
- 9 June: Delivering dignified care for plus-size patients - consultants offer expertise and the latest evidence-based research.
- 10 June: Advanced course in the therapy management of Parkinson’s -clinical specialists offer advice on managing the 4 stages of Parkinson’s, including motor and non-motor symptoms.
- 10 June: Social media for OTs - #OTalk members on how social media can be an ideal CPD tool.
- 12 June: Rehabilitative palliative care - the role of occupational therapy in inspiring and leading cultural change.
- 14/15 June: Acupuncture for OTs- a two-day introduction to 10 of the best acupuncture points and their occupational therapy impact.
- 17/18/19 June: The cognitive orientation to daily occupational performance approach -the CO-OP approach for OTs and physiotherapists treating neurological or developmental disorders.
- 29 June and 6 July: Major adaptations - a two-day course for OTs new to this area of work.